Quotes by Bruce Lee
Wikipedia Summary for Bruce Lee
Lee Jun-fan (Chinese: 李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), commonly known as Bruce Lee (Chinese: 李小龍), was a Chinese American martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor and philosopher. He was the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines that is often credited with paving the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA).
Lee is considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be the most influential martial artist of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century, who bridged the gap between East and West. He is credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.
The son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-chuen, Lee was born in the Chinatown area of San Francisco, on November 27, 1940, to parents from Hong Kong, and was raised with his family in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. His early martial arts experience included Wing Chun, tai chi, street fighting, and boxing, winning the Hong Kong schools boxing tournament. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education at the University of Washington in Seattle; it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts, later drawing significant attention at the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships. In the 1970s, his Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in the Chinese nation and Chinese martial arts in the West. The direction and tone of his films dramatically influenced and changed martial arts and martial arts films worldwide.
He is noted for his roles in five feature-length martial arts films in the early 1970s: Lo Wei's The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Golden Harvest's Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; and Golden Harvest and Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1978), both directed by Robert Clouse.
Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, based upon his portrayal of Chinese nationalism in his films, and among Asian Americans for defying stereotypes associated with the emasculated Asian male. Having initially learnt Wing Chun, tai chi, boxing, and street fighting, he combined them with other influences from various sources into the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist).
Lee had residences in Hong Kong and Seattle.
Lee died on July 20, 1973, at the age of 32. There was no visible external injury; however, according to autopsy reports, Lee's brain had swollen considerably. The autopsy found Equagesic in his system. When the doctors announced Lee's death, it was officially ruled a "death by misadventure". Since his death, Lee has continued to be a prominent influence on modern combat sports, including judo, karate, mixed martial arts, and boxing, as well as modern popular culture, including film, television, comics, animation and video games. Time named Lee one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.
Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.
To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery.
Out of chaos, find simplicity, From discord, find harmony.
All types of knowledge, ultimately mean self knowledge.
All types of knowledge ultimately lead to self-knowledge. So, therefore, these people are asking me to teach them, not so much how to defend themselves or how to do somebody in. Rather, they want to learn to express themselves through some movement, be it anger, be it determination or whatever. So, in other words, they're paying me to show them, in combative form, the art of expressing the human body.
There is intelligence when you are not afraid.
In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.
Be a practical dreamer backed by action.
A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.
Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.
The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.
If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
Balance your thoughts with action. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.
Too much concentration belittles life. Concentration is a narrowing down of the mind -- but we are concerned with the total process of living, and to concentrate exclusively on any particular aspect of life, belittles life.
Concentration is a form of exclusion, and where there is exclusion, there is a thinker who excludes.
For something that is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way or a definite path; but not for anything that is moving and living.
When you fight, if it is a real fight, use every tool that you have, use your whole body. Use your fists, your legs, your fingers, your head if you have to, and hit them in every vulnerable spot, the balls, the eyes etc. to win.
The success of an assailant's attack depends on surprise, and if you're sufficiently alert to prevent a surprise, your counterattack is already halfway to being successful.
A kung fu man who was really good was not proud at all. Pride emphasizes the superiority of one's status. There has to be fear and insecurity in pride, because when you aim at being highly esteemed and achieve such status, you automatically start to worry about losing status.
He who knows not, knows not, he knows not, he is a fool shun him.
He who knows not and he knows not, he is simple teach him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows, he is asleep, awaken him.
He who knows and knows that he knows, he is wise, follow him.
When you're talking about fighting, as it is, with no rules, well then, baby you'd better train every part of your body!
To me, ultimately, martial arts means honestly expressing yourself.
To me, ultimately, martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. Now, it is very difficult to do. It has always been very easy for me to put on a show and be cocky, and be flooded with a cocky feeling and feel pretty cool and all that. I can make all kinds of phoney things. Blinded by it. Or I can show some really fancy movement. But to experience oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly, now that is very hard to do.
Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose -- to accept defeat. To learn to die is to be liberated from it. So when tomorrow comes you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying!
I have the absolute confidence not to be number two, but then I have enough sense to realize that there can be no number one.
Jeet Kune Do does not beat around the bush. It does not take winding detours. It follows a straight line to the objective. Simplicity is the shortest distance between two points.
I personally do not believe in the word style. Why? Because, unless there are human beings with three arms and four legs, unless we have another group of human beings that are structually different from us, there can be no different style of fighting.
Even today, I dare not say that I have reached a state of achievement. I'm still learning, for learning is boundless.
The more relaxed the muscles are, the more energy can flow through the body. Using muscular tensions to try to 'do' the punch or attempting to use brute force to knock someone over will only work to opposite effect.
You and your opponent are one. There is a coexisting relationship between you. You coexist with your opponent and become his complement, absorbing his attack and using his force to overcome him.
Don't be forecasting evil unless it is what you can guard against. Anxiety is good for nothing if we can't turn it into a defense.
The deluded mind is the mind affectively burdened by intellect. Thus, it cannot move without stopping and reflecting on itself. This obstructs its native fluidity.
The more restricted a method, the lesser the opportunity for one's individual freedom of expression.
True observation begins when devoid of set patterns; freedom of expression occurs when one is beyond system.
There's so much myth and baloney. Like a 80-year-old man able to manhandle a 300-pounder with his little finger. Ridiculous. Or this matter of breaking bricks and boards wth the edge of your hand. Now I ask you, did you ever see a brick or a board pick a fight with anybody?
I'm not a master. I'm a student-master, meaning that I have the knowledge of a master and the expertise of a master, but I'm still learning. So I'm a student-master. I don't believe in the word 'master.' I consider the master as such when they close the casket.
To develop the creative attitude, analyze and focus on the wanted SOLUTION; seek out and fill your mind with the FACTS; write down ideas, both sensible and seemingly wild; let the facts and ideas simmer in your mind; evaluate, recheck, settle on the creative ideas.
I do not fear the man who practices 1,000 kicks one time each. I fear the man who practices 1 kick 1,000 times.
But to those who kept saying
It can't be done,
Never are the victories
Or the honors won.
By the believing, doing kind,
While the doubters
Watched from far behind.
Art is never decoration, embellishment; instead, it is work of enlightenment. Art, in other words, is a technique for acquiring liberty.
Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference and heaven and earth are set apart.
If I should die tomorrow, I will have no regrets. I did what I wanted to do. You can't expect more from life.
The martial arts are ultimately self-knowledge. A punch or a kick is not to knock the hell out of the guy in front, but to knock the hell out of your ego, your fear, or your hang-ups.
An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind. It is not satisfied with explanation, with conclusions. Nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another form of conclusion.
An instructor should exemplify the things he seeks to teach. It will be of great advantage if you yourself can do all you ask of your students and more.
Unfortunately, now in boxing people are only allowed to punch. In Judo, people are only allowed to throw. I do not despise these kinds of martial arts. What I mean is, we now find rigid forms which create differences among clans, and the world of martial art is shattered as a result.
If there is always light, you don't experience light anymore. You have to have the rhythm of light and darkness.
I have always been a martial artist by choice, an actor by profession, but above all, am actualising myself to be an artist of life.
I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves.
I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves. It is futile to argue as to which leaf, which design of branches, or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.
To be bound by traditional martial art style or styles is the way of the mindless, enslaved martial artist. But to be inspired by the traditional martial art and to achieve further heights is the way of genius.
I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies.
I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.
Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better.
Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said: “When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time.
Independent inquiry is needed in your search for truth, not dependence on anyone else's view or a mere book.
There's only one basic principle of self-defense- you must apply the most effective weapon, as soon as possible, to the most vulnerable target.
Let the spirit out -- Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one's bodily self. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception, let the spirit out, as it will.
The second-hand artist blindly following his sensei or sifu accepts his pattern. As a result, his action is and , more importantly, his thinking become mechanical. His responses become automatic, according to set patterns, making him narrow and limited.
More and more I believe in the fact that you have two hands and two legs, and the thing is how to make good use of yourself -- and that's about it.
The knowledge and skills you have achieved are meant to be forgotten so you can float comfortably in emptiness, without obstruction.
If your opponent is at a distance, kick him in the groin. If he gets close, poke him in the eyes, bring up your knee, pop him with an elbow, dig a corkscrew punch to his stomach.
When one is not expressing himself, he is not free. thus, he begins to struggle and the struggle breeds methodical routine. Soon, he is doing his methodical routine as response rather than responding to what is.
The less confident we are in ourselves, the less we are in touch with ourselves and the world, the more we want to control.
Concepts vs. self-actualization. -- Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, ACTUALIZE YOURSELF. The process of maturing does not mean to become a captive of conceptualization. It is to come to the realization of what lies in our innermost selves.
Go toward self-actualization rather than self-image actualization... Search within... for honest self- expression.
In building a statue, a sculptor doesn't keep adding clay to his subject. Actually, he keeps chiseling away at the nonessentials until the truth of his creation is revealed without obstruction.
We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we create.
We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its roots in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone and we are not alone when we imitate. It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.
Meditation means to be free from all phenomena and calmness means to be internally unperturbed. There will be calmness when one is free from external objects and is not perturbed.
A kung fu man lives without being dependant on the opinions of others, and a master, unlike the beginner, holds himself in reserve. He is quiet and unassuming, with no desire to show off.
The abdominal and waist region coordinate all parts of the body and act as the center or generator. Therefore, you can promote the ability to control the body's action and master your will more easily.
Dedication, absolute dedication, is what keeps one ahead!
Dedication, absolute dedication, is what keeps one ahead. A sort of
indomitable obsessive dedication and the realization that there is
no end or limit to this because life is simply an ever-growing process,
an ever-renewing process.
Memory: Recognizing the value of an alert mind and an alert memory, I will encourage mine to become alert by taking care to impress it clearly with all thoughts I wish to recall and by associating those thoughts with related subjects which I may call to mind frequently.
The past is an illusion. You must learn to live in the present and accept yourself for what you are now. What you lack in flexibility and agility you must make up with knowledge and constant practice.
Be like water, my friend.
Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
When the ultimate perfection is attained, the body and limbs perform by themselves what is assigned to them to do with no interference from the mind.
The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel.
The martial arts are based upon understanding, hard work and a total comprehension of skills. Power training and the use of force are easy, but total comprehension of all of the skills of the martial arts is very difficult to achieve.
I am not afraid of an opponent who practiced ten thousand kicks once. What I am afraid of is an opponent who practiced one kick, ten thousand times.
Where some people have a self, most people have a void, because they are too busy in wasting their vital creative energy to project themselves as this or that, dedicating their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like rather than actualizing their potentiality as a human being.
When the opponent expand, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And, when there is an opportunity, I do not hit -- it hits all by itself.
True mastery transcends any particular art. It stems from mastery of oneself -- the ability, developed through self-discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings. Then, and only then, can a person know himself.
Learn the principles, abide by the principles, and then dissolve the principles.
Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it. Learn, master, and achieve.
Anger should be expressed. - Any anger that is not coming out, flowing freely, will turn into sadism, power drive, stammering, and other means of torturing.
To see a thing uncolored by one's own personal preferences and desires is to see it in its own pristine simplicity.
To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.
The disease of philosophy. -- Philosophy is itself the disease for which it pretends to be the cure: the wise man does not pursue wisdom but lives his life, and therein precisely does his wisdom lie.
There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way.
Satori -- in the awakening from a dream. Awakening and self-realization and seeing into one's own being -- these are synonymous.
Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-conciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make.
Because one does not want to be disturbed, to be made uncertain, he establishes a pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationship to man etc. Then he becomes a slave to the patter and takes the pattern to be the real thing.
But neither can you condemn nor justify and yet be extraordinarily alive as you walk on.
You can never invite the wind but you must leave the window open.
Don't think. FEEL. It's like a finger pointing at the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all of the heavenly glory.
It is compassion rather than the principle of justice which can guard us against being unjust to our fellow men.
Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.
Everything you do, if not in a relaxed state will be done at a lesser level than you are proficient. Thus the tensed expert marksman will aim at a level less than his her student.
The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a patter of systems.
Now I see that I will never find the light
Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel,
Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves.
This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image.
If there is a God, he is within. You don't ask God to give you things, you depend on God for your inner theme.
The doubters said,
Man can not fly,
The doers said,
Maybe, but we'll try,
And finally soared
In the morning glow
Watched from below.
We have great work ahead of us, and it needs devotion and much, much energy. To grow, to discover, we need involvement, which is something I experience every day -- sometimes good, sometimes frustrating. No matter what, you must let your inner light guide you out of the darkness.
Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts, all problems are brought into existence -drop them.
If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow -- you are not understanding yourself.
Effort within the mind further limits the mind, because effort implies struggle towards a goal and when you have a goal, a purpose, an end in view, you have placed a limit on the mind.
In order to realize our true self we must be willing to live without being dependent upon the opinion of others.
The more complicated and restricted the method, the less opportunity for expression of one's original sense of freedom.
To become a champion requires a good mental attitude toward preparation. You have to accept the most tedious task with pleasure.
Practice makes perfect. After a long time of practicing, our work will become natural, skillfull, swift, and steady.
Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, actualize yourself.
To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.
If I tell you I'm good, probably you will say I'm boasting. But if I tell you I'm not good, you'll know I'm lying.
Since life is an ever evolving process, one should flow in this process and discover how to actualize and expand oneself.
Give recognition where it is due. Compliments stimulate more effort and desire to improve. Be generous with honest praising.
It is not a shame to be knocked down by other people. The important thing is to ask when you're being knocked down, 'Why am I being knocked down?' If a person can reflect in this way, then there is hope for this person.
To be what I term a 'quality' human being one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is.
Everybody has to think for himself. A right way for a big man may not be a right way for a small man. A right way for someone who is slow may not be a right way for someone who is quick. Each person must understand his weaknesses and his strengths.
To me defeat in anything is merely temporary. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.
Believe me that in every big thing or achievement there are always obstacles-big or small- and the reaction one shows to such obstacles is what counts, not the obstacle itself.
Don't fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.
Quotes by Bruce Lee are featured in:
Words Of Wisdom Quotes
You Yourself Quotes